In keeping with the schedule established by the ACO, the FIA and IMSA for the four official constructors in the 2017 LM P2 programme, the Onroak Automotive design office sent off the CAD files for its new sports prototype for validation of the bodywork and the mechanical elements at the end of March after dispatching those for the monocoque in January.
The next stage, the FIA homologation test scheduled for the end of May, is approaching very rapidly. At present, Onroak Automotive is finalising the construction of the first Ligier JS P217 monocoque to submit it to the 21 static tests and the 2 crash tests imposed by the regulations whose aim is to continually improve safety for the LMPs.
Onroak Automotive’s aim is, as always, optimisation of performance linked to reliability and safety. To achieve this Onroak Automotive has collaborated with recognised technical partners who are all benchmarks in their respective fields, and who are also in a position to follow it in its customer service backup policy.
The aerodynamics of the Ligier JS P217 are the result of a combination of CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) calculations studies and wind tunnel tests, which helped optimise the analysis of the results and the validation of the best aerodynamic solutions. The engineers in the Onroak Automotive design department worked with the tools developed by the EXA company, a specialist in digital simulation and CFD calculations, with whom they had already designed the aerodynamics of the Ligier JS P3 on an exclusive basis, and they used the RUAG Aviation wind tunnel (with which they had already designed and validated the constructor’s previous models) to optimise the aerodynamic concepts.
Nicolas Clémençon, Design Office Manager & Chief Designer: “Today, we’ve reached the end of the analysis of numerous design studies and aerodynamic validation for the Ligier JS P217, and we’re very pleased with the results we’ve obtained and the solutions we’ve chosen. We took advantage of the experience we gained on the Ligier JS P2 for the design of this new LM P2 sports prototype, and in parallel we’ve worked hard on optimising the different fields of action defined by the new regulations. We’ve tried to retain the strong points of the Ligier JS P2, and we’ve improved its weak points by bringing in new aerodynamic concepts that have helped us to achieve a performance gain. We’ve reached the objectives we set ourselves at the start of the project.”
HP Composites based in Italy, a composites’ specialist with which Onroak Automotive already works hand in hand for all its CN, LM P3 and LM P2 sports prototypes, is the exclusive supplier of the structural elements in carbon and the bodywork of the Ligier JS P217.
Abramo Levato, HP Composites General Manager: “As is the case for all our clients, we’re devoted to developing a concept that provides the best answer to the requirements of Onroak Automotive in terms of performance and safety, in particular in the areas of weight and the rigidity of the different elements in composite materials, using new innovative solutions and reinforcements never used before in the LMP2. We’re very satisfied with the solutions that we’ve achieved with the Onroak Automotive design department in the context of the Ligier JS P217 project.”
For the engineering and the production of the gearbox and the transmission systems of its new sports prototype Onroak Automotive chose the English company, Hewland, which has accumulated in-depth experience over several decades. Close collaboration between the engineers from both companies resulted in an optimised adaption of the transmission elements and the gearbox. In addition, Hewland will help Onroak Automotive clients to get the best out of the Ligier JS P217 as well as providing personalised backup service, in particular concerning the availability of spare parts in the context of the Onroak Automotive customer backup service.
William Hewland, Chairman of Hewland Engineering: “I am extremely proud that Hewland is the new transmission partner to Onroak Automotive for the Ligier JS P217 and the future success of this car is taken very seriously by us. Hewland is the sole transmission supplier to such series as the DTM, Japanese GT500 and GP2 / GP3. The new Hewland TLST Ligier JS P217 gearbox will be a perfect blend of innovative packaging and proven performance. Hewland looks forward to working with Onroak Automotive and the Ligier JS P217 teams, both in our factory and at the races, to make this gearbox choice the best option in LMP2 and to share in the success that we know will come.”
For the Ligier JS P217’s suspension and damper systems, Onroak Automotive has renewed its confidence in PKM Consulting, an equipment supplier with whom the constructor has been collaborating for several years on different products. Joint work carried out by the PKM and Onroak Automotive teams has led to the validation of the development of specific functions for the Ligier JS P217 to ensure an optimal level of performance for the dampers. In addition, the fact that PKM will soon have a base in America is an important plus for the service and backup policy for its clients that’s very important for Onroak Automotive.
Paul-Etienne Berthe, Technical Director of PKM Consulting: “After the successes obtained since 2009 with the Morgan LM P2, the Ligier JS P2 and the production of the Ligier JS P3, the whole PKM Consulting team is delighted that Onroak Automotive has renewed its confidence in us for the development of its future Ligier JS P217. Over the seasons the victories in the Le Mans 24 Hours, at Daytona and Sebring have led to close links being forged between the people in both companies and we’re delighted to be continuing our collaboration. In 2017, PKM will be again present at the European circuits, and it is developing its future base in the USA to continue to provide its clients with the best possible service.”
The Ligier JS P217 will be powered by a 4-litre 600 bhp V8 engine supplied by Gibson Technology, the single engine supplier for the four LM P2 models complying with the regulations coming into force in 2017 in the series run by the ACO and the FIA. As soon as the engine arrives, at the latest in mid-August, it will be installed in the chassis by the Onroak automotive teams so that the car will turn a wheel for the first time at the end of the month. Development will begin immediately afterwards.
Jacques Nicolet, President of Onroak Automotive: “We feel proud and honoured to have been selected last July as one of the four constructors of the new for 2017 LM P2s. At every stage of the design and in all the elements involved in the creation of the Ligier JS P217, as was the case for all our previous cars, we’ve tried to do our very best to find the optimum solutions to be in a position to offer the best possible product.
“We’ve worked with companies and people who share our sense of rigour, our philosophy and our passion for motor racing, and who are going to follow us in our determination to provide the best possible customer backup service for our clients. Our aim is to make the Ligier JS P217 a car that’s capable of fighting for victory on every kind of circuit.”